IDB Invest and OPIC Launch Gender Focused Fund for Latin America and the Caribbean

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Oct 2018
Latin America and the Caribbean, October, 03 2018 - IDB Invest and OPIC partnered to launch Fund Mujer, the first gender-focused fund for Latin America and the Caribbean, to invest in female entrepreneurs, companies with a significant share of women leaders, and firms that generate jobs or consumer products for women. The fund has a US$200m target and is expected to be comprised of 70% equity / 30% debt.

IDB Invest, the private sector institution of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) Group, and The Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) announce an alliance for the creation of the first gender-focused fund for Latin America and the Caribbean for up to $200 million. Fund Mujer is expected to be comprised of 30 percent debt and 70 percent equity.

The aim of the fund is to narrow the gender financing gap in Latin America and the Caribbean by supporting investment strategies focused on female entrepreneurs, companies with a significant share of women leaders, and firms that generate jobs or consumer products for women.

“Women-owned micro, small and medium-sized enterprises worldwide face a $1.7 trillion shortfall in access to finance. In Latin America and the Caribbean, the region with best gender parity in early-stage entrepreneurship, the business opportunity could reach more than $98 billion,” explains Gema Sacristan, chief investment officer at IDB Invest.

“With Fund Mujer, we are not only investing in women-owned and led enterprises. We are also investing in enterprises that provide quality employment and access to products and services that address critical barriers, so that we may enhance women’s economic participation and success. With Fund Mujer, we are moving beyond merely counting women; we are also valuing women,” adds Kathryn Kaufman, managing director for Global Women’s Issues at OPIC.

The creation of the fund underscores IDB Invest’s and OPIC’s commitment to expanding financing options for women in Latin America and the Caribbean, and builds on both institutions’ leadership in gender lens investing. OPIC, the United States’ development finance institution, recently launched its 2X Initiative, the criteria for which will be applied to this fund. The initiative will be carried out through a Request for Proposals (RFP) to support one or more funds with a gender lens investment strategy. It is expected that the selected fund manager(s) will be announced during the first quarter of 2019.



Source : LAVCA
 

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